These easy Dutch oven recipes work in a cast iron Dutch oven: and they’re not just soup recipes. Think: risotto, bread, healthy broth, and more.
Do you have a Dutch oven? When Alex and I first starting cooking, we had no idea what a Dutch oven was! We asked for one as a Christmas gift one year, and the rest is history! There are so many easy Dutch oven recipes, it’s hard to know where to start! Here’s all about Dutch ovens: why to use a Dutch oven, what size to Dutch to buy, and of course: our favorite Dutch oven recipes!
Related: Easy Family Dinner Recipes
What is a Dutch oven? Why use a Dutch oven?
Before we start: what is a Dutch oven? A Dutch oven is a heavy cooking pot with a lid that’s used for braising meat and making soups and stews. Dutch ovens can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, and they’re typically made of cast iron. Some Dutch ovens have an enamel coating over the cast iron, which makes them easier to clean.
Why use a Dutch oven when you’re cooking?
- Dutch ovens hold heat well! When we first started using our Dutch oven, we were surprised at how smoothly sauteeing happens. It definitely feels more luxurious than doing the same thing in a normal pan.
- Dutch ovens are oven proof! Sounds simple, but it’s nice to have a pan that can be used on the stovetop and in the oven.
- Dutch ovens look pretty. Maybe this is silly, but we keep our Dutch oven out on our stove because it’s nice to look at and gives a cozy vibe.
- Dutch ovens can cook a myriad of things! Dutch oven soup recipes are delicious, but there are so many other things you can cook as well! Bread, dried beans, risottos: keep reading for the recipes.
Which and what size Dutch oven should I buy?
If you don’t have a Dutch oven, it can be overwhelming to try to find which brand and size of Dutch oven you should buy. Here are the ones we use: we have had great luck with both:
- Staub Dutch Oven 5.5 Quart This Staub Dutch oven is our workhorse Dutch oven that we use for everyday soups, risottos and more. The 5 quart size is perfect for a large batch of soup or chili.
- Lodge 6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven This is the best dutch oven for bread, in our opinion! We use it to bake our sourdough bread recipe and it works like a charm.
Without further ado, let’s get to those Dutch oven recipes!
Of all of the easy Dutch oven recipes, one of our favorites is using it to make risotto! The Dutch oven holds the heat so well that it’s a great pan for risotto. This easy cauliflower risotto recipe features roasted cauliflower and hearty chickpeas. It’s packed with nutrients and is a filling weeknight meal.
Next in our Dutch oven recipes: did you know you can use a Dutch oven to bake bread? The traditional method of cooking sourdough bread using steam can be hard to create at home, so our recipe uses a Dutch oven instead! Our best sourdough bread recipe is the ultimate guide to mastering sourdough bread at home. It has easy to follow instructions, a printable checklist, and a step-by-step video help you master that tangy flavor, chewy crust, and perfect texture. (As noted above, we use a separate Dutch oven for bread!) Or his Dutch oven bread is quicker, easier, and uses Greek yogurt for a little tang.
Wondering how to cook dried beans? Our Dutch oven recipe for cooking dried beans is quicker and simpler than the traditional stovetop method.
You might not think of ramen as an easy Dutch oven recipe, but it’s perfect for a Dutch oven. This healthy and easy vegetarian ramen recipe is a great way to have an excellent bowl of ramen at home. Fresh and flavorful, it’s a great vegetarian dinner. And with few simple substitutions, it’s vegan as well.
Chili in a Dutch oven? Yes, please! This vegetarian chili is so thick and flavorful, you won’t miss the meat! It’s a crowd pleasing hit with vegan, vegetarian, and meat eaters alike.
Topping the charts of our favorite Dutch oven recipes is this homemade vegetable broth. It takes less than an hour to make, is cheaper than storebought, and is a great way to utilize vegetables you have on hand. Make it on the weekend and freeze it for use throughout the week.
We’re into risotto over here, and this one’s a fancy version! Though it sounds gourmet, this Parmesan truffle risotto recipe is pretty simple to put together in a Dutch oven. And the black truffle flavor sends it out of this world.
This list is not all Dutch oven soup recipes, but of course we had to mention some of our favorite soups! This cauliflower soup recipe is vegan and full of cozy Moroccan spices, like ginger and turmeric. It’s a healthy cauliflower soup that’s easy and delicious. (PS Head over for the video of our Dutch oven recipe in action!)
Oh, did we mention mac and cheese? Making the creamy white cheddar sauce is perfect in a Dutch oven. This homemade mac and cheese with tomatoes is comfort food at its finest, featuring a silky cheese sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes. It’s a fan favorite!
Another favorite easy Dutch oven recipe is this hearty sweet potato and kale soup! It features black beans, sweet potatoes, and kale, and is flavored with cumin and lime. It’s bursting with flavor and a deliciously healthy recipe.
Can’t stop, won’t stop on the risotto recipes! This kale and mushroom risotto comes together in about 30 minutes in the Dutch oven. It’s easy to make and perfect for company. Enjoy with a glass of wine and toasty bread.
The last easy Dutch oven recipe is a preview from our cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking! It’s one of our most popular quick soup recipes. Full of zesty flavor, black beans, and tomatoes, it’s topped with crunchy tortilla strips.
Looking for more Dutch oven recipes?
- Golden Vegetable Soup Recipe
- All-Star Sweet Potato Chili
- Ultra Creamy Leek Soup
- Italian Soup with Vegetables & Gnocchi
- Ribollita (Tuscan Vegetable Stew)
Want to bake artisan bread in a dutch oven? Here’s an easy Dutch oven bread with a crispy crust and tender inside: perfect for sandwiches.
- 200 grams all purpose flour (1 1/3 cups)
- 200 grams bread flour (1 1/3 cups)
- 80 grams whole wheat flour (1/2 cup)
- 11 grams kosher salt (1/2 tablespoon)
- 6 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 325 grams purified water, room temperature (1 1/3 cups)
- 50 grams Greek yogurt (1/4 cup) or substitute plain vegan yogurt*
- Mix the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the flours, kosher salt, and yeast. Stir lightly with the dough hook to combine. Add the water and Greek yogurt and stir again until just combined. (Note: You need a stand mixer for this recipe as kneading by hand would be too sticky.)
- Proof the dough: Place bowl and dough hook on stand mixer and knead for 8 minutes on low speed. After mixing, transfer the dough to a small bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place (we use an 80° proofing oven) until doubled in size — 1.5 to 2.5 hours.
- Preheat the Dutch oven: When the dough has risen, place a Dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 475°F. Prepare a piece of parchment paper about 8 inches wide by 12 inches long.
- Shape the dough (watch the video instructions!): Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured counter; the dough should be formed into a gently rounded shape. Rub just enough flour onto the top of the dough so that it isn’t tacky. Use the bench scraper to flip the dough so that the floured side is down. Gently stretch the dough into a rectangle. Moving quickly, fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third up to create a packet. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and gently roll it into a log shape. Be careful to not press the dough or deflate it. Use your hands to gently pull the dough tight and pinch off the seams at the end of the dough. Carefully transfer the dough to the parchment paper and allow to rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Bake the bread: After the dough has rested, use a lame or sharp knife to cut a shallow slit at angle across the top of the dough. As quickly as possible, using a hot pad remove the lid from the Dutch oven and carefully place the parchment paper with dough into the Dutch oven. Cover it and set the timer for 17 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temp and continue baking: After 17 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. With a hot pad remove the Dutch oven, carefully take out the bread. and set the bread directly onto the oven rack. Bake for an additional 23 minutes.
- Cool the bread: Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack for at least 45 minutes. After cooling, the bread is ready to eat. Store the bread wrapped in cloth or in a bread bag on the counter for up to 2 days, or freeze it wrapped in foil in a plastic bag for several months.
*This Dutch oven bread has been successfully tested using plain coconut yogurt as a vegan variation.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Bread
Keywords: Dutch Oven Recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.